CEM241 Syllabus

Organic Chemistry I

CEM241 – John Ireland, Ph.D.

printable PDF copy

Lecture: T (1-3 PM) and R (1-2 PM)
Lab: F (11:30 AM – 3:30 PM)
Office Hours: See Office Hours Page
Email: JC Email link

Course Description

Comprehensive study of the major classes of organic compounds, their structures and reactions. The stereochemical properties and spectra (IR and NMR) of molecules and their mechanisms of reactions are stressed. The laboratory experiments demonstrate techniques used in organic reactions, syntheses illustrating types of reactions, analysis of major classes of compounds, and kinetic studies.

Prerequisite: CEM142 (successful completion)
General Education Outcome (GEO): GEO4, Scientific Reasoning

Course Materials

Textbook: Organic Chemistry (3rd Edition), David Klein (Amazon)
Lab Manual: Organic Chemistry Laboratory Manual

Grading for the Course

Assessment Total Points
Exam 300 PTS
Quizzes 180 PTS
Labs 220 PTS

grade distribution is subject to small changes for teaching reasons

Grades are calculated as the percentage of the total possible points, and are determined to three significant figures

Grade Scale

Grade Percentages
4.0 100% – 90.0%
3.5 89.9% – 85.0%
3.0 84.9% – 80.0%
2.5 79.9% – 75.0%
2.0 74.9% – 70.0%

Assessment Types


There will be four (4) Unit Exams during the course of the term. These exams will focus on the material within the unit, but since Chemistry is a discipline that builds on itself the exams have a comprehensive nature to them. Each exam will have sections dealing with vocabulary and basic concept management, plus a number of problems focused on the concepts of the units. I use a variety of types of questions on a exam so you may see multiple-guess, true/false, and/or fill in the blank type questions in addition to the open-ended problems. I will drop your lowest exam when calculating the final grade.


There will be a variety of in-class and take-home quizzes to complement your learning of key concepts. These will be on a weekly basis (on weeks not involving an exam) and will either be at the beginning of class or given on the last class of the week (to work over the weekend). You are expected to work on these independently. I will count the nine (9) best (out of ten).


There will be eleven (11) labs and I will count all your labs for the final grade. The labs are described in the CEM241 Lab Syllabus (digital).

Grade Normalization

All Unit Exams and the Final Exam will be subject to a grade normalization (what many of you call a curve). The extent of the normalization will be the least value of the following conditions.

  • The points needed to bring the class median to 74%
  • The points needed to bring the highest score to 100%

No normalization will be applied to Quizzes or Lab Reports.

Class Policies

Make-Up Work and Extra Credit

There is no extra credit available, per department policy, and no make-up/late work. Any deviation from this is solely at my discretion. If I do make an exception to any policies in the course they will be communicated in written (email) form for future reference.

Course Communication

I maintain server space to host materials for my courses. The website (link) is where I will publish all notices for the course, post materials needed, and link copies of the podcasts and PowerPoint files. This is my personal space and the materials are produced with my personal equipment. The materials are intended for your personal use in the class only.

Attendance and Participation

The school has a vested interested in making sure you are attending the classes in order to help you be successful. In light of this we, as instructors, must report your participation on a number of occasions throughout the semester. You will be reported as a V for Verified (meaning you are attending, participating and in addition passing), as an H for Help (meaning you are attending and participating, but not passing), or as Q for Quit (meaning you are no longer attending and/or participating in class). There are several reasons you may be listed as a Q, which I will address in a moment, but it is important to note that once you have been dropped from a class by an instructor you cannot be put back into the class without the instructor’s signature.

Reasons for Being Assigned a Q

  • Failure to attend class within the first week without contacting the instructor.
  • Failure to attend class for greater than three (3) sessions without contacting the instructor.
  • Failure to take two (2) Unit Exams
  • Failure to take five (5) Daily Quizzes
  • Failure to complete three (3) Laboratory Exercises

These conditions will result in an automatic Q during the next HQV reporting period and your dismissal from the course. If you fail to participate after the final HQV reporting period (1 week after midterm) you will not be automatically dropped from the course but will receive a grade of 0.0 (E) for failing to participate in the course.

Electronic Devices

All students have a right to the same classroom experience and opportunity to learn. Any disruptive behavior in my class will result in your immediate removal and loss of all points possible on that day (daily quiz, lab, unit exam, etc.). This includes the use of cell phones and other electronic devices. You are welcome to tape my classes for your future personal use only and use a laptop or tablet for scholarly pursuits but any use of devices that I deem distracting (yes, I am the one who decides) will be dealt with immediately.

Incomplete Policy

We will follow the Jackson College Policy as stated here.

Academic Honesty

We will follow the Jackson College Policy as stated here.

Course Topics and Schedule

CEM241 Topic Schedule Link
Course schedule can be changed with advanced notice

Copyright 2017, John Ireland, all rights reserved, only for use with classes taught by John Ireland, Ph.D. or with his explicit written permission.